The Wild Ride West
The Wild Ride West in celebration of National Trails Day and the 100th anniversary of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Line was held on the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail on Sunday June 8, 2014.
The celebration was attended by approximately 90 bike riders, geocache participants, and friends of the trail who came to "hang-out" and enjoy the sights on the trail.
The west wind provided a challenging ride, not to mention the threats of rain with large back clouds circling around the riders and a few sprinkles.
The Wizard did some magic thing that diverted the clouds away from the ride.
Thirty five bike riders started at the perimeter and made their way west to Wescana a distance of 6 kilometers of the 10 kilometer trail. The official start was heralded by the sound of a train whistle signifying the 100th anniversary of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad.
What a sight as the riders started off and began to spread out along the trail.
Wescana is just beyond that clearing in the tree line (but 6 km. further).
Check out the Dandelion's and Sow-Thistle along the side of the trail.
Some say the young shoots and leaves of this common weed provide one of the best wild salads, rich in vitamins and minerals and can be added to pancakes or made into wine. The Wizard told me he uses the leaves as a medicinal tea. What Ever!!
Resting at Hall Road
It was a long ride from the Perimeter to Hall Road, where the riders took a break. I think I heard "Are we there yet" ???
The Trail is a Treasure for all Ages
The trail is used daily by people of all ages whether it be biking, running, walking or just sitting on a bench taking in the sights and sound of the trail.
Three generations of the Gompf family and Robson family participated in the Wild Ride West and had a great memorable experience.
That's what it's all about family, fun and life on the trail. It doesn't get any better than this.
Frank and Shan Hornby are interviewed and are pleased with the restoration of their bench that over looks the Taillieu Field. Shan indicates it is a great place to go and see the flowing fields, birds, deer and listen to the sounds of the birds and frogs.
Crossing the Taillieu Field
The Taillieu Field is an awesome site in all the fours seasons. The riders seem to be hanging in the middle of nowhere as they cross the field. As a matter of fact, they are in the middle of "freaking nowhere" and it feels great.
100th Anniversary of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad
In case you are wondering, the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail runs along the original railway bed of the Grand Trunk Railway System.
That's how the trail was named, The Headingley Grand Trunk Trail. Go figure!!!!
The Blue Bird Boxes
We checked the boxes for nests and bird families, but we didn't see any blue birds. However, most of the boxes are inhabited.
There are Lots of Bike Riders in Denmark
There are lots of bike riders in Denmark and we were pleased to have Helle Wilson, Honorary Consul of Denmark on the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail (now internationally known). Karl presented her with the "Next to Last Spike" hammered into the last rail laid 100 years ago (at least that is what Karl claims!!!).
Geocaching on the Trail
The trail is not only for bike riders, there is a large number of geocaches along the trail. Twenty five students from Beaver Lodge School attended the Wild Ride and headed West to test their geocaching equipment and techniques.
Comments on their blog indicated the following:
Found with the Beaverlodge School crew caching the trail in celebration of the HGTT Trails Day... lots of fun! A HUGE thank you to the people who put on the event. We really enjoyed being a part of it! This was one of our first finds... thanks for the fun! We had a great day!
Here they are coming back, being chased by a big black rain cloud (luckily it missed us).
Wet Your Whistle
Just like in the old days after a trail ride, there is nothing better than a cold drink and a hot dog. That really hit the spot.
Was the Wizard on the Trail
Someone told me the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail Wizard was out on the trail for a walk. I seem to have missed him. Did you see him?
He performed a Wizard trick with one of the kids and turned her into a frog. The frog hopped away. So if you see a frog on your next walk on the trail, tell the frog the Wizard is working on a fix to undo the magic trick, "hold on".